A Support Team: The Missing Link in Achieving Your Health Goals

By on February 22, 2012

By Claire Kerslake –

Multiply your chances of success in achieving your health goals by assembling a team of enthusiastic supporters.

Too often we try to go it alone only to give up and blame ourselves when it all gets too hard. There is a better way.

We are often unaware of the influence of those around us. We can really stack the odds in our favour by surrounding ourselves with people who either model the healthy behaviours we’d like to adopt or who actively support us in developing those healthy habits.

Perhaps the most obvious member of your support team is an exercise buddy. This is the person we will roll out of bed for at six in the morning when it’s cold and dark because we’ve scheduled an exercise session together. While we’ll often let ourselves down it’s that bit harder to let someone else down.

Think about adding a personal trainer or dietician to your team. When I was transitioning from a couch potato to someone who exercised regularly, I had a weekly appointment with a personal trainer. Just that one appointment a week was enough to get me moving most of the other days. For me it was money well spent in getting that exercise habit going and I also gathered some great ideas to use when I exercised at home.

These days with technology we can access support and accountability through online forums, Facebook groups, Twitter and phone apps. Our buddy might even be on the other side of the world and a text “Have you exercised today?” might be just the reminder we need.

Just as we to assemble a support team, we also need to identify saboteurs. These are people in our circle of influence who, intentionally or not, undermine our efforts to make healthy changes. It can be as subtle as repeatedly serving larger meals or as obvious as a partner saying ‘If you lose weight, I’ll divorce you’.

Saboteurs may derail our attempts to improve our health by tempting us with lollies or sodas, offering cakes and biscuits or invitations to go out for coffee and cake. It sounds innocuous enough but the well-meaning ‘just one won’t hurt you’ really CAN undermine our efforts.

Get creative about long-standing habits such as meeting friends for coffee or long lunches. Can you go for a walk together instead? We don’t have to have the perfect diet and exercise habits but we DO have to be realistic about the impact our day to day habits have on our health.

We can increase our chances of success in developing healthy habits by ensuring that our supporters far outnumber our saboteurs. One of the best plans of attack is to turn saboteurs into supporters. It may be as simple as asking for their support and explaining simply and clearly how they can offer that. If that doesn’t work, how can we minimise their impact?

Probably the most important person on your support team is you. Are you your most enthusiastic supporter? Does your self talk reflect that?

Forget going it alone and make this the year you reclaim your health.

 

Claire Kerslake, Credentialed Diabetes Educator, helps others create the health they need to live lives that make their hearts sing. She offers inspiration, knowledge, motivation and support for individuals to develop healthy habits. You can learn more about her at http://www.lovinglifewithdiabetes.com. Follow her on twitter at http://www.twitter.com/ClaireKerslake

About Claire Kerslake

Claire Kerslake, Credentialed Diabetes Educator, helps others create the health they need to live lives that make their hearts sing. She offers inspiration, knowledge, motivation and support for individuals to develop healthy habits. You can learn more about her at http://www.lovinglifewithdiabetes.com. Follow her on twitter at http://www.twitter.com/ClaireKerslake.

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A Support Team: The Missing Link in Achieving Your Health Goals